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social media class, salty waffle, google places, social mediaIf you have any kind of physical location associated with your business, there are a couple places on top of Twitter and Facebook that you really want to own. Below there are guides on how to get started with a couple sites and networks that can give your business a huge boost. We have more in our ‘Social Media For Retail Businesses’ class that is available online now!

Google Places: Google Places is built into Google Maps and hosts all kinds of verified listing information for businesses. Someone searching your company on Google would be able to find your information (location, hours, brief description, phone number, website, and more) as well as write reviews of your business. With so many using Google Maps to navigate and the launch of Google+, Google Places is only becoming more important as a place to list your information. The social aspect is the customer reviews. Monitoring their comments will help you fix issues, get to know what they liked, or give you ideas for improvements.
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Groupon, Living Social, and the Daily Deal Clones: Group purchasing has been absolutely huge since Groupon came on the scene in late 2008. Since then many sites have popped up offering daily deals and group buying discounts. Amazon is behind LivingSocial and Google and Facebook both have their own competitors in the space. Any one of these sites offer your retail business an opportunity to get your name out while creating some quick revenue. Deal buyers will come in to cash in their deal and that is your opportunity to impress them, up sell, and make life-long customers out of them. Groupon like sites are inherently social, once they purchase your deal it is posted to their Facebook and/or Twitter for their friends to see. On top of that, you can turn the experience they have at your store or site social as well, prompting them to share their experience while redeeming their deal. This is also a great opportunity to turn Groupon deal buyers into Facebook fans and Twitter followers for those fresh accounts you just set up.
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LinkedIn Products and Services: This is a little Salty Waffle secret here. LinkedIn recently launched pages where you can add products and services to your company’s profile page. This allows the whole of your professional network to review your business and create buzz on LinkedIn. Not many companies have got around to doing this, so take advantage. A community of pleased customers on LinkedIn can bring you excellent new clientele, top-notch talent looking for a job, and quality impressions. Use your LinkedIn to interact with people you already know and ask them to fill out reviews to get you started. Every time someone interacts with your company page, it pops up in the feeds of all their professional connections. Since LinkedIn isn’t quite as crowded and loud as Facebook, this can be a great way to get the word out on your products and services.
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Here is an excellent guide on how to add Products and Services to your new LinkedIn account. PDF